Why We Don't Like Conflict?

With the last 50 years there have been major discoveries into science and more importantly into the how the brain works.  Through the invention of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) neuroscientist have given us insight into the function of the human brain.

One of the most widely researched concepts in neuroscience and cognitive psychology is Cognitive Dissonance.   Cognitive dissonance is the central mechanism by which you see new variations in your world.  It affects virtually all aspects of your life and in your decisions. this new information has come to light that helps us understand why we don't like conflict?

In cognitive psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information which conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.

In simple terms, your unconscious mind seeks consistency between your expectations and your reality.The tension of cognitive dissonance leads people to change either their beliefs or attitudes or their behavior, or all three.

It has been used to understand why people give in to con artists, make risky financial decisions, and justify unhealthy habits.  You also don't like to second-guess your choices, even if later you are proven wrong or unwise.

You will accept information that fits your beliefs, ideas, or values and disregard those which come in direct conflict with them.  The overall strength of the dissonance can be influenced by several factors. Cognitions that are more personal, such as beliefs about the self, religion, politics, family, etc., tend to result in greater dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is everywhere, all of the time. It appears in virtually all judgments and decisions, and it is the central mechanism by which you experience new experiences in your life.

It rests on the premise that you desire to view yourself as rational and uniform in both thought and action; therefore, you consciously choose how you respond to information or behaviors that challenge your way of thinking.

Cognitive dissonance can often have a powerful influence on our behaviors and actions. If the dissonance is not reduced by changing one's belief, the dissonance can result in restoring consonance (balance) through misperception, rejection or denial of the information, seeking support from others who share the beliefs, and/or attempting to persuade others.

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